Team-BHP > What Car? > Luxury, Imports & Niche

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Old 20th November 2018, 21:38   #16
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Default Re: Used luxury car as a beater?

When considering a beater car, two things comw to my mind.

1. Economy of running:
Spares is one part. Most of the luxury cars will return single digit FE figures if you manage to get them at a cheap price. Daily beater cars that return around 8 to 10 kmpl is not exactly my cup of tea.

2. Bulk
Most luxury cars, by the very definition of luxury, will suffer from being too long, too wide, too low to allow easy entry or exit. With a beater car, it should be very easy to get in, drive someplace, park and get out. Can't imagine that with a luxury car.
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Old 21st November 2018, 12:20   #17
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Default Re: Used luxury car as a beater?

The only problem with a used German car is the mystery of how it has been driven and maintained. If these two things are resolved, then one can purchase them and enjoy them.
The parts are expensive yes. The joy of driving makes up for that.
With the Germans, every bit of detailing makes a big difference. Brake oil, Transmission oil and the quality of the coolant- it is all these bits that go often overlooked and make the difference in the future expenses you can have.

All this said, I would still repeat that it depends on your luck to be handed a good motor. Most people go cheap on the service and then sell post the abuse.
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Old 21st November 2018, 13:08   #18
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Default Re: Used luxury car as a beater?

Originally Posted by chaudh2s View Post
In 5L-10L budget, you can get some very good new luxury rides which will give you, new car smell, a fairly long list of standard features, reliability, peace of mind, and the list is long. You would miss all of them in the old car.
Part of me agrees with your statement - driving Dad's A6 without reverse cameras, etc. that I've taken for granted after using the S-Cross, Corolla etc. often takes me by surprise and though I can manage fine without it - it's always nicer to have.
Yes - a new car would have these advantages, would be cheaper and easier to maintain, and would give less headache at the end of the day. That's where I completely agree with you!

However where I disagree is this: a used luxury car isn't just about showing off. It's about the manner in which it drives, the interior and ambience inside, etc.
It's a completely different ballgame and experience, but like you said - you have to pick the right car or else be prepared to face ridicule and mounting bills.

Originally Posted by jetsetgo08 View Post
The only european cars I can suggest are 1.9Tdi/1.9 Pd Tdi Octavia/Laura in Ambiente/Elegance Manual Transmission versions only. Though they are crude, the engines are fairly reliable for 2-3 lakh kilometers esp. VW ALH/BJB engine series. But, finding a pristinely maintained car is difficult as most of them would have been thrashed by at least 3-4 owners. They are used as beaters, although service costs may still be higher compared to Japanese/Korean cars.
Actually, more than the engines - it is the electronics which are the first to start giving up in Germans / Europeans. Small but expensive things like Speed Sensors / ABS sensors, AC, Air Suspension (if equipped) etc.
The engine is often one of the last bits to go down in a German (though there are exceptions like the VWAG DQ200 gearbox, the 5 cylinder '270' engine on the W211 E Class, etc.). So I wouldn't be worried much about the engine as much as the other parts that aren't designed for Indian conditions.

Originally Posted by Zed View Post
My recommendation - if you are picking up a Premium used car - ensure that it has been used and maintained well. Which is another way of saying buy it from someone you know. Do the necessary checks from an independant garage as many of the other posts suggest. Statistically there is still a high probability of breakdowns (Vs a toyota for instance) but thats the trade off you will need to live with when buying a used 'luxury' German car at a resonable price.
Can't agree more - there are many owners like me who have sold their Germans after owning them for 8-10 years. If you can find a first owner car, the owner has probably kept it because it's not been high on maintenance and in fairly decent shape.
However - you need to be prepared for a break down at any given time and with maintenance and rough use in mind - a Jap may just work better given our conditions.
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Old 25th November 2018, 12:10   #19
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Default Re: Used luxury car as a beater?

Consider this:
In the US, the largest car market in the world:
- A BMW/Audi/Mercedes costs twice as much as a Honda/Toyota when new.
- Sells for the same price after 5 years.
- Sells for half as much after 10 years.
That is right, a $40,000 BMW 3 series after 10 years is down to $4,000-$5000. Whereas the $20,000 Corolla or Honda still sells for $8,000 after 10 years.
The reason - high maintenance costs for the Germans - which get higher as the car ages.
Remember, the Mercedes Taxis in Germany use far better fuel and are driven on far better roads in much better weather and air quality than what we have here. Also, service and spares are far cheaper, so they get regularly serviced and maintained.
Also, there is a little known secret. The amount a car ages is determined more by the number of trips than by the number of kms. So, a car which does a lot of short trips, will age more than another car which has done fewer longer trips. Reason being - it can take up to 4 to 5 kms of driving to bring the engine oil up to proper operating temperature for the best lubrication.
So, the Mercedes taxi's engine oil is always at around the right temperature all day after the morning start, and the better metallurgy of the engineering can then shine through and allow the car to last longer. (Merc taxis typically do 10,000 kms a month!)
May not happen here in India, in normal use, with bad fuel, higher heat, lot of dust, bumpy roads and lots of frequent starts and stops. Have not really seen any high mileage Mercs around - many Toyota Innovas yes - but not any Germans.
Choose wisely.
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Old 25th November 2018, 16:23   #20
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Default Re: Used luxury car as a beater?

Originally Posted by Sumain View Post
So, the Mercedes taxi's engine oil is always at around the right temperature all day after the morning start, and the better metallurgy of the engineering can then shine through and allow the car to last longer. (Merc taxis typically do 10,000 kms a month!)

Add to that, a lot of times, the engine is never switched off unless at waiting at a slow taxi rank
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Old 3rd December 2018, 09:18   #21
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Default Re: Used luxury car as a beater?

Actually why not?
A 2007-2008 used Mercedes E Class E280 would cost around 5-6 lakhs for a car in pretty good condition.
You can have it checked from an authorised Mercedes workshop. It would be money well spent.
You can maintain by getting parts from Palika Bhawan in New Delhi (near Sarojini Nagar). Lots of shops carrying luxury car OEM parts - specially Mercedes.
You could also get service and parts from the Khan Market shops.
(Parts are generally available at around 1/3rd the price compared to authorised dealer.)
A number of suspension and brake components are now also available from OEM suppliers who now have offices in India. So also wipers and other stuff which require periodic replacement.
Try to get a car with a non-turbo engine - fewer things to go wrong. Turbo breakdowns are generally very expensive to fix and require higher degree of expertise.
Petrol engine would be better. Again in the interest of simplicity.
Get it serviced from a reliable / knowledgeable independent mechanic or workshop. Do some of the work yourself, if you can. A lot of information is now available on internet forums and on youtube.
(Set aside about 2-3 lakhs for mental peace of mind in case anything serious breaks down.)
Go for it! YOLO - You only live once!
All the best.
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Old 27th May 2019, 11:32   #22
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Default Re: Used luxury car as a beater?

A luxury beater is a concept that is new to our car culture and is only now starting to come up. It is very much possible, given that you already have a reliable alternative to this 'new' car. The only reason the German trio has been unpopular in the mechanic and reliability terms was that the spares are costly, waiting time for the parts arrival is large and the people who can work on these machines are far and few inbetween. But given the explosion of the luxury market in the late 2000's (2008-2010), spares availability is much better than it was before, costs are pretty much the same though. The market penetration has also been significant that even small FNG's have decent amount of experience working on these.

This concept is very applicable if you can find details about specific engines and electronics and procure parts that are known to fail eg, water pump on the VW Jetta is a pretty known failure and you can save guard yourself a surprise bill if you prepare for it.

Also comparing Indian second hand market to that of USA or Europe would not be relevant at ALL! In Europe, the parts for these are as easily available as Suzuki's are in India. And for US, the labour charges are atrocious and are a significant part of the service bills. The labour charges are pretty minimal in India comparing to those in US.

Before you dive into this head first, kindly note that you have in your possession the following:
1. An alternate mode of transport (2-wheeler or a reliable old car to be used if anything drastic happens to your barge)
2. Whatever your budget is, buy the car for 70% of that, keep 30% for future proofing your service bills.
3. A mindset to look for solutions in online forums (like this and other international ones)
4. A basic understanding of 2 facts;
i. A car is just a machine with decorations, and everything can be restored to working order.
ii. Know when to quit, everything that can be restored, but not all things should be.

Also, look for Skoda Superb, VW Jetta (Manuals for both), you can also try for the 2009-2010 A4's. Accords are good too but they seem have to risen in price in the used car market in the last year.
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Old 27th November 2019, 02:16   #23
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You can look for and buy a well kept, carefully maintained single owner Skoda Yeti 4x4 Elegance of the 2011 era for about 6-6.5 lacs.

I am just in the process of selling mine.

This will very easily surpass your expectations as a very tough, fully equipped, powerful, fuel efficient, highly specced, safe and comfortable functional beater car.
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